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Pineal Gland Tumors (Pineal Cyst)

What are Pineal Gland Tumors?

Pineal gland tumors arise from cells in the pineal gland. The pineal gland produces the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body’s biological clock, known as the circadian rhythm.

Pineal tumors can be neoplasms like pineocytomas or pineoblastomas, or a more common and different kind of pineal mass – a pineal cyst. Pineal cysts are more common and can be found by chance in up to 10% of people who have a CT scan or MRI of the head. A pineal cysts a closed sac with a distinct membrane separate from the surrounding brain tissue and is filled with a benign fluid.

Learn more about Pineal Cysts »

At UTHealth Neurosciences, neurologists, neurosurgeons, interventional pain management specialists, neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists, and neuropathologists work together to determine the care each patient needs, discussing treatment options as a group. This approach saves our patients time and money and allows our specialists to share each other’s insights, leading to better treatment decision-making and outcomes.

What You Can Expect at UTHealth Neurosciences

We first investigate options for nonsurgical treatment, including medical management, pain management, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and watchful waiting. When surgery is needed, our neurosurgeons routinely employ innovative minimally invasive techniques. Throughout the treatment process, our team works closely with the doctor who referred you to ensure a smooth transition back to your regular care plan. While you are with us, you can expect expert care, excellent communication, and genuine compassion.

About the host: UTHealth Neurosciences leader Dr. Dong Kim is a neurosurgeon and Chair of the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at UTHealth. View his presentation on advanced treatment options for pineal cysts and other pineal gland tumors.

Advanced Treatment of Pineal Gland Tumors

Each patient’s treatment options are unique, and vary based on the patient’s age, overall health, and other factors such as the degree to which symptoms affect quality of life. If the tumor is believed to be cancerous, more aggressive your physician might suggest more aggressive treatment options.

While pineocytomas and pineoblastomas are rare, our specialists are very experienced carefully operating in this region of the brain, having surgically treated pineal cysts and tumors for nearly a decade.  

Surgery to remove the entire pineocytoma or pineoblastoma is considered a standard treatment plan. Radiation therapy may be used following the surgery to address any tumor cells that might remain.

Brain Tumor Types

Malignant meningioma
Pineal gland tumors
Pituitary adenoma and Cushing’s syndrome
Pituitary tumor
Skull base tumor

Contact Us

At UTHealth Neurosciences, we offer patients access to specialized neurological care at clinics across the greater Houston area. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about the Face Pain and Headache Clinic, please call (713) 486-8000, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.

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